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Tennisology: Inside the Science of Serves, Nerves, and On-Court Dominance Paperback – 15 Jun 2015

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About the Author

Thomas Rowland is the director of pediatric cardiology at the Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. He serves as a professor of pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine and was a past adjunct professor of exercise science at the University of Massachusetts. Rowland is the author of two previous books published by Human Kinetics, Children's Exercise Physiology, Second Edition and The Athlete's Clock.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great athletes often have little superstitious rituals 24 Oct. 2014
By Epilady - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Tennisology: Inside the Science of Serves, Nerves, and On-Court Dominance is strongly geared towards the psychology of winning. Great athletes often have little superstitious rituals, and portions of this book reminded me of that.

It's highly detailed and technical. For example, the chapter on spin starts off "Everywhere, things spin - heavenly bodies, subatomic particles, children’s toys, gyroscopes. Spinning is a fundamental action of the natural world. Our planet revolves as well, at a speed of about 1,000 miles (1,609.3 km) per hour at the equator." and then moves on to explain Bernoulli's principle and how it relates to a tennis ball.

There are nuggets of wisdom like "The ball must be struck within the angular window of acceptance, defined as the range of angle of the ball leaving the racquet that will allow it to both cross safely over the net yet still land in the opponent’s court. " - well, most players already know this, intuitively, but the biggest difficulty is in finding the right technique to find and hit in the "window of acceptance" before one even learns how and where to apply topspin within that same window.

Some interesting analyses are presented, such as that time spent actually playing is 20-30% greater on a clay court vs other surfaces, and Tennisology is well-referenced. Rowland clearly did exhaustive research. However, it's a struggle to read and most weekend warrior players will not find this book of much interest. College players and semi-pros may be more interested but also may already be schooled in many of these concepts.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A great book for getting into the intricacies of tennis. Not necessarily for every tennis player. 21 Dec. 2014
By Ninjaba - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I really enjoyed the first chapter "Evolution of the Sport," where there is a brief introduction to the history of the sport. For me, the chapter could have been much longer! Chapter two "Court Lessons of Life" is equally interesting, learning about each other through a game of tennis. After that we get into the science of Tennis and though interesting, didn't hold my attention nearly as much. This is not fault of the author, who writes quite well, it's just beyond what I wanted to learn. We are an occasional tennis family, my husband plays the most. He read this book cover to cover and enjoyed it. So I think if you're into the intricacies of tennis this book will probably appeal to you. If not, you may be looking for more of a history book of tennis.

This book does excite you to play better tennis and be proud to join the game.
Tennisology: Inside the Science of Serves, Nerves and On-Court Dominance 18 Nov. 2014
By LoveGuitar - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a fantastic tennis book. I play tennis on several teams and lately I've been having a horrible time losing. And I was wondering if my high level of RAGE at losing was off-scale.......was it normal for me to become so angry when I lose? And I was losing game after game, set after set and just wanted to whack my partners over the head with my tennis racquet. Needless to say, Dr. Rowland explained to me that people get unusually angry when losing at tennis so apparently I am no exception. Something about the game being much more personal than other sports. I would get so angry sometimes that it was all I could do to act civil and congratulate the winners.

But this book has a LOT more information that I find highly interesting and useful. He goes into detail about the biology (DNA, genetics, motor skills, learning from proper practice habits, etc...)which I sometimes found boring, but overall very enlightening. I was wondering if I was getting too old to play the game with any skill. I'm 56 and have returned to the game after nearly 40 years away from it. He says that with proper training, practice, and especially the right mental conditioning I could become a much better player than I am. I lose because I freak myself out psychologically and now I know a lot of what I'm doing wrong.

He talks about just tons of stuff. He talks about tons of various sports studies done measuring all sorts of criteria. He discusses if it's possible to accurately determine what child will have a good chance at becoming an elite athlete, but concludes that there are too many factors at play and really, it's pretty much a guess. Early maturity of the body does help, and that those who are late-bloomers usually drop out of the attempt to become an elite athlete and find something else to do.

I guess what I think about now when out on the court, is my "automatic" vs. "thinking" player. I still think too much and need to work on my skills to the point that my automatic player plays most of the game for me, making few mistakes. I told my tennis coach about that aspect and he agreed. Great book for anyone interested in improving their game or just are curious about sports training, psychology and biology. Loved it!!!
Nice! 7 Nov. 2014
By John B. Goode - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
At first I thought this was going to be a light instructional book but it turns out to be a bit more than that. It's a small paperback sized book only 196 pages long including index and bibliography but it covers a lot of interesting information. Like the title suggests, it about the -ology of tennis (you know, like zoology is the study of animals).

I would consider this book a scientific examination of all things tennis. The first chapter delves into the history and start of tennis. The second discusses the mental game. I won't list all the 10 chapters here as they are available in the LookInside feature of Amazon above.

The book is fairly easy to read, but it's not for the starting beginner. Rather, it's for a tennis enthusiast who is interested in the game and want to know how to improve, not just through physical practice, but through the science and theory of it. For a true enthusiast or professional, some of the advice and text will be too simple, for example, there are only 2 paragraphs on choosing the grip, whereas you can find pages of information on grips from manufacturers and tennis websites and forums. There are also only a few pages on spin science whereas you can probably find more than that on the internet with a quick search. But this book brings all that information together in a readable form. A single book cannot be everything to tennis players of all levels but I think this will be a good book for some.

I use the LookInside feature on Amazon a lot. My recommendation would be for a prospective reader to read some pages or all the available preview pages and see if it's something which is interesting or at their level. If it's too difficult or too elementary, then it's not for them. But I think this will definitely be at the right level for some enthusiasts.
Scientific perpectives on tennis performance. 22 Nov. 2014
By D. Chou - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My family and I were searching for different perspectives on tennis training to improve our games and this book, "Tennisology", seemed like a good choice.

*Easy to understand and fun to read. Doesn't get bogged down by the science behind tennis. Interjected with bits of humor by author, Thomas W. Rowland, M.D.
*More focus on the physiological, psychological, physics, and developmental science behind tennis rather than the usual fundamentals and drills.
*Brief synopsis of the interesting history of tennis.
*Similarities between life and tennis.
*Neuromuscular science behind tennis skill development.
*Age old nature vs.. nurture debate in the development of a champion athlete. Author's opinion was inconclusive due to scientific evidence from both camps. It seems to me that certain individuals are naturally gifted athletes with the optimal physical attributes and require less training effort to achieve success. However, less genetically endowed athletes have also reach the pinnacles of their sports by hard, quality, training and using their intellect to maximize their competitive advantage. The debate continues.
*The physics behind tennis and the evolution of players and equipment.
*Especially fascinating to me are the chapters on "Visualization Techniques", and "Match Mind-Set" which covered the mental aspects of tennis. It's plausible that by imitating the movements, form, and posture of top athletes, we should be able to improve our games. I agree with the author that one needs to be well trained physically and psychologically to be successful in tennis or any other sport.
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